Airlines being upended

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railiner

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Two problems with that.
1) The taxpayers should not should have not have assumed the debt. The railroads were bankrupt. The lenders presumbly knew (or should have known) about the shaky finances, and have been prepared to take the risk that they'd lose their money. I have no sympathy for the banks. I guess this is what is called "socializing 'private' debt," and it's a curse of our political and economic system.
I am not sure that they did assume the debt. I just assume that they did to acquire the property, that was otherwise worthless. If they hadn't, the banks and other creditor's would surely have liquidated the assets for whatever they were worth, if anything, and then we would have been left with nothing. Even the real estate probably owed a fortune in back taxes...
 

railiner

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Two problems with that.

2) The government should never have allowed an IPO and let the competing railroads (CSX and NS) get hold of the assets. Monopoly is to nobody's benefit except the monopolists. Even after they privatized it, they should have retained some residual partial ownership so in order to prevent future shenanigans like stock buybacks and excessive executive compensation.
I disagree with that. The Company thrived even more, when it regained private ownership, after the IPO. The government could have disallowed the other two railroads to merge with it, under existing antitrust laws, without having to be on its board of directors.
 

Qapla

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Even if the Gov't didn't nationalize the railroads by owning the trains - they should nationalized the trackage the same as they own the highways
 

dlagrua

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From what I read airline business is down a whopping 94% but in the end they will get billions of federal (taxpayer) money to bail them out. Last I read the airlines will receive $28 billion but Amtrak gets only $1 billion.
Nationalizing the railroad trackage is not the answer. Right now the government takes in solid tax revenue form the freight railroads and doesn't have to pay to repair the tracks. Taking over doesn't help anything.
 

IndyLions

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The Days of Wine and Roses is over in this Country, your idea of putting peopleMaybe call it the New Green Deal! All that's lacking is an FDR to Lead us, right now the Marx Brothers are in charge!
The messenger matters. The only way a Green New Deal like approach can work is if the flag is carried by someone who can bring people to consensus non-divisively (ala FDR, as you mentioned). Maybe someone like Biden could do that - but I worry about his current stamina.
 

IndyLions

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...But none of this has much to do with airlines. ;)
good point - sorry for the detour.

Back to topic - has anyone heard anything lately regarding senators pressuring the airlines to agree to refunds instead of credit? I cancelled 3 trips, involving airlines, Amtrak, hotels and rental cars. Got full refunds on everything, but only credit from Delta & Southwest on those itineraries.
 

blueman271

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good point - sorry for the detour.

Back to topic - has anyone heard anything lately regarding senators pressuring the airlines to agree to refunds instead of credit? I cancelled 3 trips, involving airlines, Amtrak, hotels and rental cars. Got full refunds on everything, but only credit from Delta & Southwest on those itineraries.
Last week the DOT sent the airlines a reminder that they must refund tickets when they cancel a flight or significantly change an itinerary. However, if you cancelled your flight then you wouldn’t be eligible for a refund unless you booked a non-refundable ticket. You would only be covered by the applicable airlines current waiver which seems to be the case.
I highly recommend, if at all possible, to wait until the very last minute (two or so hours before departure) to cancel a ticket, if the airline hasn’t already canceled. I have a flight on United in mid-May that I know I’m not taking but I won’t be cancelling my ticket anytime soon. I’m going to wait for them to cancel and then call them to get a refund.

edited because I can’t spell
 

IndyLions

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Last week the DOT sent the airlines a reminder that they must refund tickets when they cancel a flight or significantly change an itinerary. However, if you cancelled your flight then you wouldn’t be eligible for a refund unless you booked a non-refundable ticket. You would only be covered by the applicable airlines current waiver which seems to be the case.
I highly recommend, if at all possible, to wait until the very last minute (two or so hours before departure) to cancel a ticket, if the airline hasn’t already canceled. I have a flight on United in mid-May that I know I’m not taking but I won’t be cancelling my ticket anytime soon. I’m going to wait for them to cancel and then call them to get a refund.

edited because I can’t spell
Thanks. I guess that is irony for you. The safe/responsible thing to do is to cancel well ahead of time so the airline knows your intentions and can plan accordingly. If you do that - “No refund for you!”

If you wait until the last second, in which case the airline thinks you intend to travel anyway - it causes more work for the airlines and forces them to re-arrange a flight itinerary you have no intention of fulfilling - you get the refund.

In Amtrak’s case - as long as you call the hotline in nearly all cases you can get a full refund on fares and itineraries that pre-Covid19 were penalty/voucher only.
 

jebr

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Some posts have been removed that were off-topic and political. Please ensure to stay relatively on-topic in this thread.
 

MARC Rider

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I disagree with that. The Company thrived even more, when it regained private ownership, after the IPO. The government could have disallowed the other two railroads to merge with it, under existing antitrust laws, without having to be on its board of directors.
When you say "thrived," do you mean the company's financial performance or the amount and quality of freight rail service it provided?
 

railiner

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When you say "thrived," do you mean the company's financial performance or the amount and quality of freight rail service it provided?
Unfortunately, I do not have a source to verify that statement...sorry. The only thing I do know, was my purchase of that stock was very rewarding...;)
 

Devil's Advocate

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Anybody else notice the international air freight market is seizing up due to lack of available lift? The handful of countries that were still able to exchange goods are running out of commercial flights to leverage. Freight aggregators that normally serve hundreds of countries with a long list of schedules are down to less than a dozen destinations with only one or two active contracts remaining. Medical and private contract goods are still moving but that's about it. I can only imagine what the outbound interchange facilities look like right now.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Flying of goods was always expensive. The increase in demand just shows another problem with the Just-In-Time supply chain. Sure a lot of C-5 galaxy aircraft sitting around awaiting orders. If and when there needed.
 

jiml

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Air Canada has "temporarily" converted 5 777-300's to freighters. It's quite a sight to see the footage of a plane that size totally empty save for bulkheads.air-canada-cargo-passenger-cabin-reconfiguration-2-scaled.jpg1_4892190.jpg
 

railiner

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A380 conversions would only be able to handle parcel traffic and in that role the financials are unlikely to net a meaningful profit.
Why is that? Why couldn't they be converted to full freighter's, handling container's and everything else air freighter's carry?
 

railiner

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Air Canada has "temporarily" converted 5 777-300's to freighters. It's quite a sight to see the footage of a plane that size totally empty save for bulkheads.
They still left the wall panels, and overhead bins and ceilings intact...hope they don't get damaged or badly marred while carrying whatever they will be carrying...
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Loaded those converted aircraft is going to be a pain. Fingerprinting ever box, no forklift, no roller boards. A lot of time, or a lot of people in close contact.
 

jiml

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Loaded those converted aircraft is going to be a pain. Fingerprinting ever box, no forklift, no roller boards. A lot of time, or a lot of people in close contact.
I agree, and surely the size of the doors are going to slow things down too. Same for A-380 x 2 levels. While both aircraft have huge cargo holds, their upper levels weren't designed for speedy loading of cargo. That's why "back in the day" some airlines had Combi models with a large cargo door on the main level.
 

Trogdor

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Why is that? Why couldn't they be converted to full freighter's, handling container's and everything else air freighter's carry?
My main guess is that the floors aren’t strong enough to handle the dense cargo that most freighters carry. This is one of the main reasons that a 777 passenger-to-freighter conversion has been so slow to be developed.

Strengthening the floors would be an expensive task, and that would add weight to an already relatively inefficient fuselage. Then there’s the whole upper deck, which would be difficult to use without massive infrastructure investment to load upstairs, and it would be difficult to get a return on investment for those costs.
 
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